Artist Commissions

Artist Commissions

As part of “For the Love of Lettuce” we commissioned Artists to create work inspired by the theme to celebrate Melbourne’s Market Gardening Heritage. During 2017 five artists were commissioned to create work inspired by the images and memories of Melbourne’s Market Gardens. Their work was exhibited at Melbourne Festival Art & Architecture Trail in September 2017.


During the past year Photographer Christopher Mear has made regular visits to Heaths of Melbourne, F Jackson & Son and W Sharp & Sons to photograph the Market Gardeners at work and their produce. His photographs were exhibited at Melbourne festival in September 2017, at Sharps Pottery in Swadlincote during January and February 2018, at Melbourne Senior Citizen Centre in March 2018 and at Swarkestone Garden Centre in April 2018.


Emma Pegg created a sculpture “Nature & Nurture” in 2017 featuring the nurturing hands of our Market Gardeners and the rain needed to nourish the plants. The piece has been exhibited at Melbourne Senior Citizen Centre since the Summer of 2017 in a raised bed full of vegetables donated by the Market Gardens and replanted through the year.


Composer Rosie Clements took her inspiration from Melbourne’s Market Gardens to compose six pieces of music “Lyrical Lettuce” using sound clips recorded around Melbourne and from interviews with the Market Gardeners. Six speakers were installed in a garden during the Melbourne Festival Art & Architecture Trail and at the For the Love of Lettuce Exhibition at Melbourne Senior Citizen Centre.


The Mel Bear of Melbourne a creature created half from fact half fiction by performance artist and writer Alistair Gentry prowled the streets of Melbourne during the Art & Architecture Trail sharing tales of Melbourne’s Market Gardening past.


Stephen Parker’s Melbourne Snail Trail created a trail with the Art & Architecture Trail as hundreds of snails, who love lettuce as much as we do, made their way around the village raising a smile from many of the visitors.

In addition several local artists were so inspired by the theme that they created work independently.


Our performance Poet, Dwane Reads, a “For the Love of Lettuce” that he spent time with all of our Market Gardeners and wrote a book of poems inspired by our Market Gardens which was sold in Aid of Dementia UK.

INSERT poetry booklet


Sculptor and Garden Designer, Ross Danby, was commissioned to create PopUp Market Gardens around Melbourne using recycled wood and tractor tyres filled with plants from our Market Gardens. He was so inspired by the theme that he created a sculpture carved with the words of “The Rain” a poem by William Henry Davies.